Does High School Prepare Students for the Real World


For many teenagers, high school is a place of social competition, a place to gain social skills, and a little bit of learning. However, high school is actually meant to prepare students for becoming an adult and entering the “real world.” In recent years, students haven’t learned helpful life skills to prepare them for life after high school. Schools should better prepare students for the situations they might encounter as they grow older.

Obviously, teachers should keep their original math and English courses, but if the lesson can’t relate to a real-world problem, then it shouldn’t be taught or it should be changed to connect to a real-world “lesson”. There will never be a need for hot cross buns on a recorder unless you’re a child music prodigy, how to save an egg from a drop-off a ladder, or what the diameter of a circle is. Children do not remain students forever. They become their own person and with that, they will need to know how to write a check, file taxes, apply for a job, or apply for a loan.  High school is when teenagers start to mature and grow into who they really are. It is the time to prepare and be serious about studies and a job.       

Teaching life skills classes to teenagers should be required. Learning these life skills requires students to want to learn them. They have to pay attention and study them to learn, which is why it should be a requirement.  Teaching life skill classes to high schoolers would improve classroom etiquette, and responsibility and help students feel confident in graduating. They can teach students compassion, time management, and effective decision-making, in turn raising self-esteem and creating a positive self-image. Teenagers are commonly still seen as children, but they are really young adults learning who they want to be. Teaching healthy relationships and communication skills is another important part of high school. High school is what shapes your personality. Knowing how to talk and interact with others is necessary for living on your own.

“I feel like the health class is important but in general, some of the information taught is common knowledge, especially for 14 and 15-year-olds. I think health classes should be taught differently. I don’t need to learn about how to diet or avoid a drug I’ve been told my whole life not to do.” David Webb, a senior at Edmond North said.

Schools shouldn’t shelter topics such as Sex Ed. They should teach about protection and consent. Students are exposed to topics like this on social media and in person. Keeping it out of schools only encourages unsafe sex. When kids aren’t properly educated, they become curious instead. Trying to keep it hidden and ignoring the teaching of safe sex will only cause problems in high schools. Studies show that teaching abstinence doesn’t work as well as teaching about contraceptive options and having open-ended conversations with students. Teaching abstinence stigmatizes a natural human interaction.      

Schools still teach skills like time management and problem-solving through course curricula. Most students memorize formulas and answers for tests, so they likely aren’t learning these skills. Most don’t remember things from as little as a year ago’s curriculum. It’s like giving someone a car with no prior knowledge of driving. Whose responsibility is it to teach these life skills? The responsibility of education is on both parents and teachers. Although, most of these parents weren’t taught these skills in high school either but have provided everything for their children and now they have to learn all the things they were never taught either.

I would rather know how to change a tire than know what the square root of pi is. In the next 10-15 years the workforce will be taken over by our generation, and some students aren’t prepared for the world of work yet. According to the AACU, only 55% of students feel prepared for life after college. There will be thousands of new adults all trying to figure living out only knowing high school or college social and study skills. In our years of education, students are faced with enough stress. They do not need the added pressure of not knowing enough about the world. Our education system needs to change to better suit the needs of students.

For questions about this opinion piece, email Callie Chesnut at [email protected].